From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County officials today announced the cost to local governments related to the flooding in late December and early January is estimated to exceed $10 million.
The initial disaster impact assessment was compiled by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency and was submitted to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency as part of the disaster reimbursement process.
Although damage estimates are not yet available for losses incurred by property owners, more than 150 businesses and residences in the county were severely damaged and hundreds of other properties incurred varying degrees of damage.
Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said virtually every area of the county was impacted by the three days of torrential rains in late December. “Because of its location on the banks of the Mississippi River, the city of Alton incurred the greatest expense battling the floods. But as a result of the sheer volume of rain, extensive flooding occurred throughout the county affecting thousands of property owners.”
Dunstan said representatives from a number of Madison County departments, including the Emergency Management Agency and Community Development, worked with local officials to assess the flooding costs and damage. “An accurate assessment is essential in order for the local governments to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, providing the government issues and President Obama signs a federal disaster declaration,” the chairman stated.
During the next step in the process IEMA representatives will meet with local officials to validate the expenses associated with the flooding.
The initial disaster impact assessment addresses material and labor costs in seven categories, including Emergency Protective Measures, Road & Bridge Systems, Debris Removal, Water Control Facilities, Buildings & Equipment, Utility Systems and Park/Recreational areas.
Dunstan is calling upon Gov. Bruce Rauner to ask President Obama to issue a federal disaster declaration to give impacted local government, businesses and residents badly needed emergency assistance. “If Madison County is declared to be a federal disaster area as a result of the flooding, local governments are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the costs incurred. Impacted residents and businesses would be eligible for grants and low interest loans to help repair damage.”
“Madison County government is doing everything possible to lessen the impact on our communities and, ultimately, the taxpayers,” Dunstan added. “I am hopeful government officials in Washington (D.C.) will carefully assess the destructive impact of the flooding in our area and will issue a disaster declaration.”